The European Commission (EC) has requested that Slovakia remove its investment restrictions on statutory pension funds.
“The EC decided to send a formal request to Slovakia regarding removal of several investment restrictions on statutory pension funds which represent violations of European Union Treaty articles forbidding restriction of free movement of capital,” the EC representation in Slovakia informed the SITA newswire on January 28.
The EC objects to the right of the Slovak Central Bank (NBS) to restrict investment activities of pension funds by setting a limit on investment assets in EU member states. This enables the Slovak authorities to further discriminate investments in securities issued or guaranteed by other EU member states, although this limit is not applied to securities issued or guaranteed by the Slovak Republic.
Slovak authorities explained the restrictions as tools to create a stimulus that would promote the development of the Slovak capital market. EC does not see this as a legitimate reason for restrictions. This formal request was issued in the form of a reasoned opinion, which is the second stage of the infringement procedure. If no satisfactory reply is delivered within two months, EC will refer the matter to the European Court of Justice. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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29. Jan 2010 at 10:00